Date of Birth: Boston, Mass. 1942
Place of Residence: New York City
Net Worth: USD $55.5 billion
Source of Wealth: self-made
Education: B.S. from Johns Hopkins University (1964), M.B.A. from Harvard Business School (1966)
Michael Bloomberg worked for Solomon Brothers investment bank (1966) and used $10 million severance package to create start-up (Bloomberg). He is the founder, CEO, and owner of Bloomberg L.P. He was the 108TH Mayor of New York and held office for three consecutive terms (2002-2013).
Political Position: Center Libertarian Right
In His Own Words:
Today, New York City’s economy is stronger than ever. We’ve turned a $6 billion deficit into a $4 billion surplus. We drove annual unemployment last year to an all-time low, and our bond rating has climbed to an all-time high–Double AA. The income tax hikes have been rolled back. The property tax hikes have been offset through $400 rebates for homeowners. But we’re not just using the surplus to cut taxes–we’re also saving for the future, (Speech: “Ceasefire! Bridging The Political Divide” meeting, 2007).
You show me one social problem that won’t be obliterated or ameliorated if people had a better education. I don’t think you can, (On These Issues).
The first precondition for making the Copenhagen negotiations a success, I believe, is that the US, which leads the world in greenhouse gas production, must finally set real and binding carbon reduction targets. And I believe the American people are prepared to accept our responsibility to lead by example, (Speech to the United Nations, 2008).
If America is to remain the world’s economic superpower, it must capitalise on the opportunities and confront the challenges. Countries that run away from globalisation will pay a heavy price for decades to come,” (Financial Times, “Resist Protectionism, 2007)
We’re not going to deport 12 million people, so let’s stop this fiction. Let’s give them permanent status.
This society cannot go forward, the way we have been going forward, where the gap between the rich and the poor keeps growing. It’s not politically viable; it’s not morally right; it’s just not going to happen, (On These Issues).
Bloomberg ran for Mayor of New York as the Republican candidate in 2001 and 2005. In the 2001 election, he chose not to use public campaign funds (campaign finance laws restrict the number of donations) and used $73 million of his own money instead. He won. In the 2005 election, he was re-elected Mayor by a margin of 20% used $78 million of own money on the campaign. He received endorsements from prominent Democrats such as Ed Koch, Hugh Carey, Peter Vallone, Peter Vallone Jr, Floyd Flake, and Marty Markowitz.
In the 2009 election, the 8-year term limit was changed by a city council vote, so that Bloomberg could run for a 3rd term in office. He ran as a member of the Independent party. This 3rd term was controversial due to term limit change and due to the New York County district attorney’s investigation into possible campaign finance improprieties. Former New York State Senator Martin Connor contended that because the Bloomberg donations were made to an Independence Party housekeeping account rather than to an account meant for current campaigns, this was a violation of campaign finance laws.
Lobbying & Advocacy:
Bloomberg is very active and open politically. Below are his opinions and actions categorized by issue.
Abortion: Bloomberg is pro-choice.
Budget and Economy: Bloomberg is considered to be “fiscally conservative.” He balanced New York City budget deficit of $6 billion through high property taxes and cuts to city agencies.
Civil Rights: Bloomberg supports same-sex marriage, co-chairing “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” effort.
Corporations: Pro-corporation. He lobbied the CEO of Goldman Sachs to build its headquarters next to ground zero in exchange for tax breaks ($1.65 billion)
Drugs: Supports strict drug laws of New York City.
Education: In office, Bloomberg changed the state education board to be taken over by mayoral control. By the end of his second term, New York City’s school budget went from $12B-$20B.
Energy and Oil and Environment: Bloomberg is a strong advocate for environmental protection. He implemented PlaNYC in 2007 to fight climate change. His plan for reducing NYC’s carbon footprint includes: converting the taxi fleet to hybrid cars, a program for congestion pricing to discourage driving during peak hours, planting 1 million trees throughout the city and transforming buildings into “green” buildings. His goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and make New York an environmentally sustainable city.
Government Reform: He influenced the change from the 8-year term limit and believes that the rules to run for office should be simplified and accessible.
Gun Control: He supports gun control and regulation to reduce crime. He is is the founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (gun control advocacy group).
Health Care: He is an advocate of health regulations. His NYC smoking ban in public areas set precedent for whole country. He set new laws into place to portion sizes to reduce the possibility of obesity. He put a ban on trans fats and soda and increase fruit and vegetable vendors. He has been criticized on his role in New York becoming a “nanny state”. He supports the goal of universal health care coverage.
Tax Reform: Raised property taxes 18% to pay off the budget deficit in the first term and raised income tax as well.
Welfare and Poverty: Bloomberg implemented a plan to provide affordable housing to 500,000 New Yorkers and wants to break the cycle of poverty.
Source: Press release, “Affordable Housing Plan”, Mar 13, 2007
War: He supported the Iraq War and later said in regards to the Global War on Terrorism including Iraq, ”It’s not only to protect Americans. It’s America’s responsibility to protect people around the world who want to be free.”
Endorsements: He endorsed Republican nominee George W. Bush during 2004 election. In 2008 he said he would endorse “a candidate who takes an independent and non-partisan approach,”. He endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during 2016 US presidential election.
Bloomberg owns Bloomberg Media, a financial news source that is broadcasted into 72 nations around the world. This includes Bloomberg TV, Radio, and a financial news website.
Michael Bloomberg spent at least 8 months dedicated to philanthropy after his 3rd term as mayor. His foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, has five areas of focus: public health, the arts, government innovation, the environment, and education. In 2015 Bloomberg was the third-largest philanthropic donor in America. His focus is mostly on environmental issues, such as pushing for policy to fight climate change.
“In July 2011, Bloomberg donated $50 million through Bloomberg Philanthropies to Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign”.
“On April 8, 2015, to build on the success of the Beyond Coal campaign, Bloomberg announced an additional Bloomberg Philanthropies investment of $30 million in the Beyond Coal initiative, matched with another $30 million by other donors, to help secure the retirement of half of America’s fleet of coal plants by 2017.”
On June 30, 2015, Bloomberg and mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo jointly announced the creation of the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, which convened on December 4, 2015.
In January 2015, Bloomberg led Bloomberg Philanthropies in a $48 million partnership with the Heising-Simons family to launch the Clean Energy Initiative. The initiative supports state-based solutions aimed at ensuring America has a clean, reliable, and affordable energy system.
Other philanthropic involvements include “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; World Lung Foundation and the World Health Organization”. On August 17, 2016, the World Health Organization appointed Bloomberg as its Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases. In total Bloomberg has donated more than $4.3 billion to causes and organizations.